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First solo exhibition in the United States by Polish artist Agnieszka Kurant opens at SculptureCenter
Map of Phantom Islands, 2013. Photo: Eduardo Ortega. Courtesy Galeria Fortes Vilaça, Sao Paulo.

LONG ISLAND CITY, NY.- SculptureCenter is presenting the first solo exhibition in the United States by Polish artist Agnieszka Kurant. Kurant’s work explores the hybrid status of objects and the ways in which rumors and fictions become phantom capital and enter into social, economic, and political systems of the contemporary world. Kurant is producing several new works that explore the editing process as an aesthetic and political act as well as accumulations and potentials of phantom capital.

Commissioned through SculptureCenter’s Artist-in-Residence program in conjunction with Stroom den Haag, Netherlands, the exhibition features a new film titled Cutaways. Produced in collaboration with the renowned film editor Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now, The English Patient, The Conversation), Cutaways is based on footage of characters that were originally scripted and shot in various films but were subsequently edited out of the final versions of the films. Cutaways stars Dick Miller, Charlotte Rampling, and Abe Vigoda in their original roles from Pulp Ficiton, Vanishing Point and The Conversation respectively. Kurant has written a new script for these characters in collaboration with Manuel Ciraqui and John Menick that stages a meeting of these phantom characters to create a new narrative based on surplus content and labor.

Kurant is interested in the complex relationships between value, aura, authorship, production, and ownership of objects. Analyzing collective intelligence, immaterial labor, mutations of memes, and manipulations of collective consciousness, the artist seeks to explore gaps in logic that confuse and inform our understanding of the real and the fictitious. A new sculpture titled Phantom Estates displays a collection of works Kurant has created based on rumors of and anecdotes about artworks lost or never realized by early conceptual artists such as Marcel Broodthaers, Guy de Cointet, and Edward Krasinski.

The exhibition also includes a shortwave radio piece, 103.1 (title variable), an accumulation of silent pauses from important political, intellectual and economic speeches from the beginning of voice recording to today. The work is inspired by a short story written by one of Germany's foremost 20th century writers, Heinrich Boll, “Murke's Collected Silences” (1955). Presented as a radio transmission from a reel-to-reel tape player, 103.1 (title variable) highlights editing as a creative process but also brings forward Kurant’s interest in phantom artworks because Boll’s story revolves around a sound editor who makes a recording of silent pauses.

Kurant was born in 1978 in Lodz, Poland and studied in Lodz, Warsaw, and London. She was an artist in residence at Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2004); ISCP, New York (2005); Paul Klee Center, Bern (2009); Location One, New York (2012); and Iaspis, Stockholm (2013). She represented Poland at the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale (in collaboration with the architect Aleksandra Wasilkowska). Her works have been shown at: Witte de With, Rotterdam (2011); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2004); Tate Modern, London (2006); Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle (2009), Warsaw; among other international venues. She participated in several international contemporary art exhibitions including: Performa Biennial, New York (2009); Moscow Biennale (2007); Bucharest Biennale (2008); and 2nd Ural Biennial (2012). In 2009 she was shortlisted for the International Henkel Art Award (Mumok, Vienna). Sternberg Press published her monograph, Unknown Unknown, in 2008.

Agnieszka Kurant: exformation is organized by Mary Ceruti, SculptureCenter Executive Director and Chief Curator and is presented in conjunction with Agnieszka Kurant’s solo exhibition at Stroom den Haag, The Netherlands (December 1, 2013 – February 23, 2014)

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